Title: Sacre’ Bleu
Review: I often pick up a Christopher Moore book because I am looking to laugh, but that (for the most part) was not the case with Sacré Bleu. It had its moments but the shining star of this story was the history. That is to say, I really enjoyed the historical context of the plot, a lot more than I would have thought.
The hero of our story is the young baker Lessard who desires to be a painter as did his father before him. He does the best he can while sharing studio space with the great but diminutive Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Then one day his muse walks back into his life, the unnaturally attractive Juilette. He becomes a man possessed, ignoring the bakery, his family and friends, and even his own sustenance. On the verge of death his friends intervene and the truth of his muse comes to light.
All of this centers on the color blue and the Colorman who has supplied it to painters throughout time. All is not as it seems, especially with the amount of talented painters gathered in France at this time. And that was the most fascinating aspect of the whole novel, just how many artists were gathered together in one place. From Renoir, Monet, Manet, Gauguin, and Seurat to the recently deceased Van Gogh; Paris was packed with artistic greatness. I found myself visiting Wikipedia just to see how all these guys interacting with each other.
It was amazing to think how they lived hand to mouth with their art, hoping to sell a painting so they could afford paint and maybe something to drink too. Sacré Bleu is a funny book which also manages to be an engrossing alternate history on the lives of the great Masters. An art book to delight even the non-artist.
Quick Review: 4 stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Love Christopher Moore, my absolute favorite fiction with humor writer.
Where I Obtained the Book: At my local library
Synopsis: Absolutely nothing is sacred to Christopher Moore. The phenomenally popular New York Times-bestselling satirist, whom the Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls “Stephen King with a whoopee cushion and a double-espresso imagination,” has already lampooned Shakespeare, San Francisco vampires, marine biologists, Death... even Jesus Christ and Santa Claus.
In his latest novel, the immortal Moore takes on the Great French Masters. A magnificent “Comedy d’Art” from the author of Lamb, Fool and Bite Me, Moore’s Sacre Bleu is part mystery, part history (sort of), part love story, and wholly hilarious as it follows a young baker-painter who joins the dapper Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the supposed suicide of Vincent van Gogh.
Author Biography: Christopher Moore (born 1957 in Toledo, Ohio) is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.
Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circumstances. Inheriting a humanism from his love of John Steinbeck and a sense of the absurd from Kurt Vonnegut, Moore is a best-selling author with major cult status.